Serious Sam 3: BFE Preview

by on October 13, 2011
 

Being a PC game isn’t easy these days, first of all you have to contend with the rampant piracy that surrounds the platform, then you have to deal with other platforms being thought of as a better way to make money, before the worst happens – and you become a port of a console game.

Serious Sam 3: Before First Encounter doesn’t have any of these issues, because it is a PC exclusive, designed from the ground up to be played with a computer, not a console. A bold move by Croteam, and with the game set for release on November 22nd, we take a look at what it has to offer to the PC gamers out there.

If you’ve never played a Serious Sam game before, all you really need to know is that they are pretty much crazy, over-the-top, First Person Shooter games with a daft sense of humour, blood and gore, and solid, fun, combat. Serious Sam 3: BFE doesn’t do an awful lot to change this, but what is important to note is that what it does do, it does very, very well. One of the first things you’ll hear a NPC say is “I’m out here on my birthday? I should be doing blow off a hooker’s ass”, and this pretty much sets the bar for the humour within the game.

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The most important thing about a FPS title is how it plays – all the visual fidelity and bombast in the world can’t make up for bad gunplay, and thankfully BFE delivers in spades when it comes to moment-to-moment combat. A double tap of the pistol will take down early enemies and is incredibly satisfying, especially when the suicide bombers are charging at you in hordes and two simple bullets causes a monumental explosion, taking themselves, and everyone around them, out; as I said, the combat is very satisfying indeed.

Serious Sam 3: BFE doesn’t just ape other games though, it brings its own unique style to the table. For example, the first weapon you’ll find in the game is a meaty sledgehammer, which you will automatically raise to the skies when an enemy is in the vicinity, meaning a simple tap of the left mouse button (or right trigger if using an Xbox 360 controller, which works perfectly by the way) will bring the hammer down with such furious vengeance that you might lose yourself and think you are playing as Thor, the God of Thunder himself.

The enemies, for the most part, are quite varied. You’ll have aliens that rush you and are easier to kill with melee weapons, then you’ll have the aforementioned suicide bombers who run at you with a bomb on each hand, that you’ll need to kill quickly to save your life. Oh yeah, and a lot of the enemies are headless too.

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To stay alive you’ll need to collect health pick-ups, which is a bit of a throwback nowadays. You won’t magically replenish your health by standing still, or hiding from gunfire – you’ll need to actually pick up health and armour to stay alive.

As important as the combat is, nowadays, with the money behind a game, it does need to look good, sound good and play well. BFE looks absolutely lovely, and will run pretty well even on a mid-spec PC. The voiceover work is without doubt as daft as a sack of cats, but this is all part of the package of a Serious Sam game. Think Duke Nukem without the sexism, and you are in the right sort of ballpark.

What BFE did for me, was to remind me of a game from a bygone era, where fun was the most important thing about it. As mentioned, BFE does look very good, and the sound is suitably excellent, but when you are actually playing it, the overriding feeling that comes through is that Croteam have made it the raison d’être of the game to be a fun experience for the player, and they totally succeed with it.

BFE is a very complete package. Containing a 13 mission campaign which is playable on your own or in co-op, online or split-screen (this alone should be commended), as well as a huge multiplayer with lots of different modes, not forgetting the survival mode. Serious Sam 3: BFE is a huge package which will offer great value for money, should you choose to pick it up when it is released on the 22nd of November, exclusively for PC.

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